Guidelines for Maintenance of Floors with Asbestos-Containing Vinyl Tiles

Floor tiles often contain asbestos. Because of this, you must perform routine floor care very carefully so you don't cause asbestos fibers to get into the environment. Follow these guidelines to reduce the chance of releasing asbestos during your floor maintenance activities.

Stripping Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tiles

Strip the floor as few times as possible.

Only strip the floors when the building is not occupied (during the summer and other vacation periods).

Before you begin, make sure you thoroughly understand how to operate the machines. Know which pads are for which types of floor-care maintenance operations.

First, apply a compatible floor finish remover or stripper with a mop. Allow enough time for the stripper to liquefy the finish. (Make sure you know how to safely handle the different chemical products used in this activity. If you have any questions or problems, consult with your floor finish products manufacturer for advice.)

Always strip the floor wet. Scrub the floor using the least abrasive pad or brush possible. Generally the black pads are the most abrasive, the white pad the least abrasive. Run the machine at a low rate of speed (175-300 rpm's).

Use a wet vacuum, preferably one equipped with a HEPA filtration system, to thoroughly clean the floor and remove the old wax and finish.

If necessary, repeat this operation until all the existing finish is removed.

Thoroughly rinse the floor after all existing finish is removed.

Finishing Your Asbestos Floor Tile

Applying a Sealer

If you can, apply two or three layers of a good sealer to the tiles before you apply your finishing coat. This helps to keep contact with the floor tiles to a minimum during future floor maintenance activities.

Applying the Finisher

Again, apply several thin coats of a good finisher. Allow each coat enough time to cure and dry before applying the next coat.

Dry Buffing the Floor

Make sure your floors are well sealed and /or finished before you begin. Run the machine used to buff the floor at a lowest rate of speed possible (300-1100 rpm's).

Maintaining Your Floor Tiles

Routine Cleaning

Use a wet mop for routine cleaning whenever possible. If you do dry mop, don't use a petroleum-based mop- it eats away at the wax.

Spray Buffing

Whenever you spray buff with a polishing or rejuvenator liquid, use the least abrasive pad possible. . Run the floor machine at a lowest rate of speed possible to get the job done (175-300 rpm's).

Wet Scrubbing

Whenever you wet scrub the floor with a neutral cleaner or water, use the least abrasive pad possible. . Run the floor machine at a lowest rate of speed possible to get the job done (175-300 rpm's). Use a wet vacuum, preferably one equipped with a HEPA filtration system, to pick up the resulting liquid. After the floor is dry, re-coat it with a compatible finish.

The Four Main Points to Remember

Use the least abrasive pads you can.

Operate the floor machine at the lowest rate of speed as possible.

Use a wet vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to pick up liquids resulting from floor maintenance activities.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations when using any floor cleaning and finishing products.